I have been watching the George Floyd case on television like millions of others. As I listened to the prosecutor conduct some direct examinations, I wanted to jump up and say “objection!” I just could not believe that the defense would allow what I believe to be improper and objectionable questions. Then I got to thinking.
Maybe the defense knows already that there is going to be a conviction and a maximum sentence imposed. Maybe they have given up in round one only to hope for relief in round two. Here is what I mean. There is an old black and white movie entitled “Witness for the Prosecution.” It is a classic. The storyline is that the prosecutor has a blockbuster witness who is going to assure a conviction. But in reality, the witness was planted by the defense. After the witness testifies for the prosecution, the defense begins to dismantle the witness thereby destroying the prosecutor’s entire case. Verdict for the defense.
Getting back to the George Floyd case, I got to thinking that it would be ironic and a bit like this movie for the defense to purposefully provide ineffective assistance of counsel so that following the conviction, the case ultimately gets reversed for a new trial. A new trial, years from now. The hope is for a weakened case for the prosecution at a new trial or a stab at a plea bargain that provides for light at the end of the tunnel. Lose now, get a reduced sentence later.
The above is an interesting scenario. It is risky for the defense and even riskier for the lawyer if it is found out that he purposely provided ineffective assistance of counsel for the reasons stated. Notwithstanding, the evidence seems daunting and the prospects for an acquittal dim. We will all have to see just how this all plays out.